Thursday, January 2, 2014
What Do I Want to See in 2014?
This is still another kind of hold-over post while I'm still on the mend, but rather than piddling around with words, I figured it would be best to actually bring a topic with me. One that's actually topical makes it all the better, as we're at the start of the year and we always like doing the "what will happen this year" game because people like predicting things because if they're right, they get to bring it up over and over again. Not that I know a whole lot about being right at predictions, of course. Though this will overall be less "predictions" and more "hopes" which should be easy to pick up from the title. What Do I -Want- to See, is far, far different from what I expect to see, though I will probably offer some odds of it happening regardless at some point in the future. Since I'm kind of a masochist like that, I guess.
Obviously, the first thing I'm going to go for here is the Vita because you all know me well enough. Also the giant Vita picture above probably helped matters as well. There are actually a few things that I want for the Vita, but primarily among them all is obvious: Support. The Vita got a lot of great games in 2013 - there are those that will deny it, but it's true - but the thing that allows the rhetoric is that not -enough- people are putting games on the Vita. Or rather, not enough people that have some weight behind their names. Which isn't to say that the massive amounts of Indie Support isn't a good thing, it's just not going to sway a lot of 'popular' opinion until you have something running on the thing from Capcom, Konami or Squeenix with a recognizable name like Resident Evil or Monster Hunter, Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy. There's other names and titles, of course and you know that, but you get the gist of where I'm coming from.
So really, in 2014, I would like to start seeing that happen. There were rumors of another Assassin's Creed portable in something called "Rising Phoenix" that never came to pass, but it's still very possible. Ubisoft is interested in doing dual-releases now of Assassin's Creed because one a year is simply not enough, so if they were to announce Rising Phoenix a la Liberation this year, they could port it to consoles next year (which I'm not excited about the notion proliferating the design, but Ubisoft gonna Ubisoft) that would -help-. There's technically -a- Monster Hunter coming to Vita already, but it's not a big one as far as I know, so that's always a thing that can be pulled out. Resident Evil is probably out, unfortunately, but I have no idea what Capcom is planning with the series anymore and Metal Gear Solid is fairly clogged as is, so all we can imagine is Remote Playing Ground Zeroes really. But Final Fantasy...
That's always been a thorny bit considering Final Fantasy Type-0 and its storied history with westerners. It was released far too late into the PSP's life on the PSP which was not doing so hot outside of Japan and yet it was a big-name-game from a big-name-company, and big-name-games from big-name-companies always ended up localized. Except Type-0 never did. Still hasn't. And the reason why is fairly evident - it's a PSP game. Yes, we have digital games on the Vita and a lot of companies have gone that route and some are still going that route (bless XSEED and Aksys, for they are doing God's work) but one can assume that it's probably not going to do as much sales as a Physical/Digital release would do. And since you can't release a physical PSP game for a Vita and printing UMDs is a thing of the past....well, people have more or less given up on a PSP version of Type-0. However, there has always been hope of a Vita version at the very least.
There was a campaign towards the middle of 2013 (I think, at least) called simply #jrpgvita, which was a hashtag that spread across Twitter as a way to try and speak to Sony. Or, rather, to Shahid Ahmad, who is part of Playstation's Strategic Content division. He spoke out on the matter, promising to do what they could for #jrpgvita as a whole, and has already made great strides towards making at least one of the titles involved in that a thing. There's hope that it is Final Fantasy Type-0 in some fashion. Of course, there's hope that it's Valkyria Chronicles 3 in some fashion as well. As well as numerous other things. What we -can- be assured of is that whatever the game is, it's not an indie game, nor a port (which isn't a bad thing or a good thing at its core, but we need -names- as stated) and it's coming. So whatever it is, it's going to help the cause immensely, I'm sure of that much.
My other big gaming hope is actually that Nintendo makes strides in pulling the Wii U around. For as much as I more or less dislike the 3DS and its success, I feel like the Wii U could really -be- something and it's troubling that it's not working out for Nintendo. However, the reason is fairly obvious as to why it's not, and it's a fault that lies with Nintendo solely - not third-parties or anyone else. Nintendo has, up to this point, truly failed at making the Wii U attractive, because they're not really thinking about it and are instead adopting the same strategy for the Wii and the DS and the 3DS, of which has only succeeded in spite of itself on those platforms. That strategy being 'trot out the same characters and ideas all over again in slightly new window dressings' a la Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 and even Nintendo Land to some degree just to name a few. It's not going to work, even with the release of the newest Smash Bros. and the next Zelda. (Not Hyrule Warriors which might be fantastic)
I've said it before that Nintendo needs new IPs and I will continue to friggin' say it to anyone who will listen. And if they're the ones who go, "But what about Pushmo and Dillon's Rolling Western an-" I will bat them on the goddamn nose with a newspaper. You know that's not what I mean. -I- sure as hell know it. Everyone knows it. Because those aren't new IPs, they're one-offs. "But Pushmo got a seq-" shut up. Xenoblade. That's what we're talking about. That's a new IP created and meant to be sustained and brought to higher things and that's what I mean. They need to do that more. Bonus points for it being something that actually uses the Wii U Gamepad since they've gone above and beyond their own means to ignore that so far as well. So, last minute thing, I'm hoping someone uses that well as well. Because that thing can be really cool, it just needs a little faith.
There's probably other things that I could be hoping for, but really, that's...that's probably enough to last all year. "In the year where the big new consoles are going to dominate, I want the little guys to succeed", oh yeah, that's totally gonna happen. Still, it's nice to hope and have dreams.
Nintendo, I have an idea about a Sorcerer and a spellbook that I can sell you if you need it